Waiting for Hurricane Irene
Well, folks, Hurricane Irene will soon make landfall somewhere on Long Island. If trends on the National Hurricane Center's webpage do not significantly deviate, the landfall will likely occur in or near Long Beach, which is in Nassau County, not too far from the border with Queens Borough in New York City.
There is an evacuation order for certain low-lying portions of New York City, including much of Lower Manhattan (including Wall Street) and the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens. Many people are ignoring the evacuation order, and, quite frankly, I do not blame them. For one thing, the shelters provided by New York City are notoriously problematic for those who seek shelter in them, what with the gangs that effectively rule them, and the City's impotence to control such gangs. Moreover, many are very skeptical if not cynical regarding whether Big Brother (up to and including Mayor Bloomberg himself) really, really has their best interests in mind, including the ability of the local police to protect their homes and businesses from looters. And, of course, there are some who see possible financial gain in the looting opportunities that will surely be presented.
I have heard that Riker's Island (which houses New York City's prison complex) is not included in the evacuation order. This is reassuring, although I am somewhat concerned for the corrections officers there. But they should be all right.
My own abode is inland, and on high ground, and, once the storm passes, our main concern will be possible power outages, which conceivably might persist for a few days. But we have taken adequate precautions, including having placed lots of orange juice cartons, cold packs, and other heat sink in our big freezer. In the event of a prolonged power outage, we could transfer some of those frozen OJ cartons into our fridges (we have an additional refrigerator in our garage, which now contains mostly soda, yogurt and beer) and most of our food should stay adequately preserved.
Across the border from New York City on Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk Counties), there are evacuation orders in effect for low-lying areas as well, specifically, everything south of Sunrise Highway. As in NYC, many in such areas of Long Island are also ignoring the evacuation orders.
One such individual who has chosen to stay put is my son. His apartment is in one of the evacuation zones, but he is now with a friend, also in the evacuation zone but on slightly higher ground, slightly further inland. They have adequate provisions to wait out the storm, and seem to be taking prudent measures for the situation.
For reasons unrelated to the hurricane, my son's vehicle (actually titled in my name) is currently inoperative. My wife was contemplating driving down to where he is to bring him back to the empty parental nest, but I talked her out of it. Our son needs to make his own decisions, and abide with the consequences of his decisions, foul and fair. If he wanted to come back here, he could find a way to do so. But he doesn't, and so, he will be waiting out the storm. Moreover, he is more accessible to his places of employment (he works 2 jobs, each in the restaurant/fast food industry), either or both of which would open if it could.
For years, I have been saying that it is only a matter of time before Atlantic City is hit by a hurricane on a Labor Day weekend. Evacuation would be a nightmare. This year, Hurricane Irene is only a week off, and a few miles removed from the Atlantic City boardwalk. It could be a lot worse for them.
As for us, we will be sitting this one out and dealing with it as best we can.